A group of archaeologists from the University of Southampton and other institutions discovered a important site of Paleolithic rock art more than 100 old paintings and prints which could be at least 24,000 years old. For this reason, it is believed that this may be the most significant discovery of its kind found on the eastern Iberian coast of Europe.
Where was this important rock art site located?
The discovery of rock art occurred in a 500 meter long cave in ““Women’s Cave” or “Women’s Cave”. It is a site in Millares, near Valencia, Spain, well known to locals and frequently visited by hikers and explorers.
However, the existence of paleolithic paintings remained unnoticed until researchers from the Universities of Zaragoza and Alicante and employees of the Department of archeology from the University of Southampton, made this exciting discovery in June 2021.
“When we first saw it painted gold (extinct wild bull) we immediately realized that this was something important because although Spain is the country with the largest number of wild bulls Paleolithic rock art sites Most of them are concentrated in the north of Spain. The east of the Iberian Peninsula is an area where few of these sites have been documented so far,” said Aitor Ruiz-Redondo, professor of prehistory at the University of Zaragoza.
However, Ruiz-Redondo asserted that “the true impact of realizing its significance came long after the initial discovery.”
“When we began the relevant systematic investigation, it became clear to us that we were dealing with an important rock art site, such as can be found elsewhere in Cantabrian Spain, the south of France or Andalusia, but is completely absent in this area .” .
The great variety of motifs and techniques those involved in its creation make the cave a Paleolithic rock art site most importantly on the eastern Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
In fact, it probably is the Paleolithic cave with the largest number of discovered motifs in Europe out of Atxurra (Bizkaia), in 2015.
What does the rock art discovered in Spain look like?
So far, researchers have documented this in detail Hundreds of “motifs” or designs are found in the cave. At least among them 19 animal depictions confirmed, such as hinds, horses, aurochs and deer. Interestingly, most were paintings made from clay.
“Animals and signs were depicted simply by dragging clay-covered fingers and palms on the walls. The damp environment of the cave did the rest: the ‘Painting’ “They dried fairly slowly, preventing parts of the clay from falling off quickly, while other parts were covered by layers of calcite that preserved them to this day,” Ruiz-Redondo said.
Another aspect that needs to be highlighted here new discovery of rock art is that, although the Clay painting is known in the paleolithic art Examples of its use or preservation are rare, but in Dones Cave It is the main technique.
The experts said their investigation was still at an early stage and that there were still many areas to examine and panels to document, so it was likely they would unveil more artworks in the coming years.